Gordhan challenges public protector report

‘The application by Minister Gordhan seeks to review and set aside the report.’
Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan has refuted claims of any wrongdoing while he was the head of Sars. Picture: Moneyweb

Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan on Wednesday challenged in court a report by the country’s anti-corruption watchdog that instructed President Cyril Ramaphosa to take unspecified disciplinary action against Gordhan.

The minister is a key ally of Ramaphosa and oversees efforts to revive struggling state companies like power utility Eskom.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, who investigates alleged wrongdoing by state officials, said last week that Gordhan should be punished for establishing an investigative unit while serving as tax commissioner because that was not his area of responsibility.

She gave Ramaphosa 30 days to decide on appropriate disciplinary action.

Gordhan has a number of political enemies, including in the radical opposition Economic Freedom Fighters party, who have seized on Mkhwebane’s report to call for his removal.

Gordhan’s lawyers said in a statement: “The report ignores facts and their significance to reach its findings regarding the establishment of the South African Revenue Service (Sars) investigative unit.”

Gordhan headed Sars for around a decade from 1999.

“The application by minister Gordhan seeks to review and set aside the report and have it declared unlawful, unconstitutional, irrational and invalid,” the statement said.

Gordhan’s allies say Mkhwebane’s investigations into the minister are politically motivated, a charge she denies. Mkhwebane made another finding against Gordhan this year that Gordhan also challenged. 

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The Public Protector will continue to release these types of reports as long as she is not held accountable.

That is why the Concourt’s continued failure to deliver judgement in the Reserve Bank matter is deeply disconcerting. A personal costs order – which is the only logical decision – will make the Public Protector think twice.

Note that the chief justice himself has berated high court judges for not delivering judgements in a reasonable time.

It can only mean that the judges of the Concourt are split and as deeply divided as the ANC.

The moment Busiswe Mkhwebane took office, she switched all the PP’s TV sets to the Gupta channel. What does that tell you about her loyalties? As does her fanatical support by the EFF who are absolutely petrified that an investigation might be made into their own finances. It’s time that Gordhan and our courts revealed that she is no Public Protector, but one totally beholden to the previous corrupt Zumarite regime.

What a circus!! The Zupta finance chief ( and well fed pharmacist) being bitten by his own party!

Yes, this is superlatively ironic.

Gordhan’s application goes on and on about “forces that are trying to sabotage the new dawn, etc” but his loyalty to the party prevents him from disclosing the identity of said forces.

Can you go to court and withhold information that may be vital to the adjudication of your case?

End of comments.

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